Director of Caribbean Development Research Services, Peter Wickham, thinks that a two to three percent vote swing in favor of Team Unity, in Friday’s election, could see the ruling coalition picking up more seats in St. Kitts and Nevis, thus seeing a return to power with an increased majority in the next parliament.
Speaking to The Observer on Thursday afternoon, the popular regional pollster attributed the potential swing to Team Unity to two factors.
The first, he said, is due to the Labour Party’s inability to fly-in votes due to the closure of the borders because of COVID-19.
Wickham said that in the 2015 general elections, the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party brought in more than 4000 votes, and these are votes that Labour doesn’t have access to in this election. He said that during the period 2010 to 2015, ten thousand new votes were added to the voters’ list, and there wasn’t a population explosion in St. Kitts and Nevis during those years, so those votes had to come from outside.
“There isn’t any other way to describe a 30 percent increase in the voters’ list in just five years.”
He thinks that many of those voters were removed from the list after the 2015 election.
The second reason that Wickham gave which could contribute to a swing towards Team Unity, is the way campaigning has had to be done this election.
“Labour is accustomed to large campaign meetings, with music and relating scandals. Campaigning this time around has had to be on social media and Labour wasn’t prepared for that type of campaigning.
Voting begins at 7 am across St. Kitts and Nevis and will end at 6 pm. Eleven seats are at stake – eight in St. Kitts and three in Nevis.
Team Unity held seven seats, Labour (3) and the Nevis Reformation Party, one seat.